New Belgium Brewing to enter three new states

New Belgium Brewing to enter three new states

US craft brewer New Belgium Brewing plans to expand into three new states later this year in order to capitalise on rising demand for craft beer.

The Fat Tire Amber Ale brewer plans to begin selling its beers in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC in September. The move will mean Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing will be present in 29 US states.

No decisions have been made regarding distributor partners or brands for the new markets, the group said, adding that it already has the spare brewing capacity.

"We had significant expansion in 2009 when we added five states," said New Belgium's sales director, Joe Menetre. "We wanted to make sure we had the capacity to keep up with that demand, so we expanded our fermentation cellar to address future growth as well."

Craft beer sales rose by 12% in value and 9% in volume in the US for the first half of 2010, bucking a decline in demand for mainstream beer brands. Craft brewers have proved so successful that the country's second largest brewer, MillerCoors, has set up its own craft and imports division and the US Brewers Association has tripled its production cap for craft brewers to 6m barrels per year.